Ghent (addition) - Encyclopedia

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This article from the 1922 extension to the 1911 encyclopedia is an update of the information in the article Ghent.

GHENT (I.919*). - Pop. (1914) 169,473, or, including suburbs (1910), nearly 250,000. The city measures 26 km. in circumference, much space being taken up by nurseries and gardens, Ghent having become a most important horticultural centre, especially for the cultivation of azaleas, rhododendrons, begonias, orchids, etc., under glass. Linen-weaving has greatly developed as a main industry and schools of industry and mechanics have been established. In 1913 1,363 vessels of over one million tonnage entered the port, and transport by smaller river craft represented an equal tonnage.

The original panels of the famous "Worship of the Lamb" by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, which had been dispersed since 1816, were brought together again in 1920 in pursuance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The cast-iron steeple of the Belfry was removed in 1912. In 1913 a Great International Exhibition was held.

From Oct. 9 - II 1914 Ghent was the headquarters of the British 7th Div. of the IV. Army Corps. On Oct. 12 the Germans entered the city and held it until Armistice Day, the Belgian army in following up the German retreat having reached the outskirts on Oct. 24 1918. During the occupation the Germans published the Vlaamsche Post, an organ professing Flemish sympathies and advocating the partition of Belgium. Intrigues on the part of the Germans to transform the university of Ghent into a purely Flemish institution (an aim long desired by the Flemish Nationalists) were resisted by the professors, some of whom were deported in consequence. The western suburbs suffered some damage in the final war operations.

See V. Fris, Histoire de Gand (1913), and Bibliographie de l'Histoire de Gand, 2 vols. (1907-21).

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